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What are the advantages of having a straight soprano vs. a curved soprano? I've been trying to find one in the market, but I can't decide on which style I want to purchase. Any suggestions?
 

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To me curved sopranos sound like saxophones and straight ones don't. It's not a visual thing, it's the way they sound. Resistance maybe? I don't know. Straight is too nasal to me, and holding it isn't like a saxophone at all. I play a Yani 991.
 

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Semi-curved, or 'tipped-bell'. The straight neck gives you the straight soprano sound but in reality nobody uses the straight neck once they play the curved one. Get a 'better' Taiwan one, not a Chinese. A lot of this depends on what kind of music you play - there are many applications for the traditional straight soprano. Many players who only play soprano 'on the side' like the tipped-bell types because they have the soprano sound but are a little more mellow, and they can use a strap with the curved neck. Plus, they are thousands less than a premium straight soprano. If you are a professional soprano player, you probably are going to stick with either the one-piece straight or a two-neck straight. If I had unlimited funds, I would get the Yanagisawa Sterling silver two-neck soprano.
 

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To me curved sopranos sound like saxophones and straight ones don't. It's not a visual thing, it's the way they sound. Resistance maybe? I don't know. Straight is too nasal to me, and holding it isn't like a saxophone at all. I play a Yani 991.
I'd argue it's not the way they sound but the way you hear them. Horn to ear relationship is very different between these 2 shapes. I don't think a listener will notice much difference though at a distance in front of it.
 

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This question has been asked and answered many times here on SOTW. However, I realize that trying to search this site is not as easy as one may think. One should probably spend some time reading through the SOPRANO section for the general information/opinions that have been posted over time.

To answer the question, it is all opinion - personal biases. I've owned all shapes and ages (from mid 1920's to current production) of sopranos from a real Saxello through tipped-bells, curved, and straight with dual necks and fixed necks - and many examples of each. The only soprano shape I haven't at least played is the curved Lyon and Healey (an odd-ball compared to other curvies).

I currently own one curved soprano (a Yanagisawa SC902) and five straight sopranos (two MKVI's, a Conn NWII, a Martin Handcraft, and a MKVI-clone made by Antigua [I think] labelled KUSTOM).

So, I'd defy anyone to listen to my recordings and identify the shape of the horn I used. Same if in person, but you can't look before opining. I can change my tone from saxophone to obeoish by a mere mouthpiece/reed switch on any shape of soprano saxophone.

The only advantages I've found to a curved soprano are 1) easier to take on a commercial flight, and 2) a better conversation-starter, but then we all have received the questions about our metal clarinet. DAVE
 

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Not being a clarinet player, infound straight sops really uncomfortable to hold. I suppose I could have gotten used to it but a curved required no such adjustment.
 

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I don’t think there are any sound difference aside from the fact that:

1) every saxophone is different from any other
2) the bell notes will be closer to your ears that they otherwise would be.

The playing position of the straight soprano really needs no strap (and that’s why all early soprano didn’t start their life with one) because you ase supposed to hold it at a 60º agle to your body supporting the horn with your elbows .
This position strains the shoulders very much and to me was so painful that required me to buy a curved soprano.

I tried many and no, a curved soprano doesn’t have a “ curved soprano sound” but there are (like for every saxophone) some which appeal to me more than others.

I loved R&C and Yanagisawa but they were far above my budget. I bought a Bauhaus Walstein bronze (for purely aesthetic reasons and because it was the best made model) AI copy of a Yanagisawa .

It was a great horn but then after several years I decided to sell it because after my bilateral carpal tunnel surgery I am limiting my efforts to tenor alone.
 

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Not being a clarinet player, infound straight sops really uncomfortable to hold. I suppose I could have gotten used to it but a curved required no such adjustment.
I'm the same way. Curved just feels much more natural.
 

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Not being a clarinet player, infound straight sops really uncomfortable to hold. I suppose I could have gotten used to it but a curved required no such adjustment.
I do play the clarinet (started on it), and I eventually decided that a straight soprano is not optimal for me. Even when using a curved neck and a strap, the required playing angle for a straight sop, combined with the weight of the horn, made it uncomfortable to play for long periods of time. A curved soprano is just better balanced, and playing one is more like the experience of playing alto and tenor.

We virtually never read about thumb, hand, wrist, or forearm pain complaints from curved soprano players, but they are common when the straight soprano is involved.
 

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I'm the same way. Curved just feels much more natural.
I agree. Curved feels much better in the hands (straight hurt my wrist a bit). I also find that the curved sopranos I've tried are much more in tune than the straight ones. Plus they just look more like a sax, not that that matters, just aesthetic.

Thanks!
Kristy
 

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My personal experience is that I have found a straight soprano that I like to play and I haven't found a curved soprano that I like to play.
Ergo: all straight sopranos are better than all curved ones. :thumbrig:

With my soprano, the curved neck is more comfortable, but the tuning is better with the straight neck, so I have chosen to suffer for my art. :cry:
 

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Curved are easier to play amplified and to carry around
 

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For me it has to be a curved, i have back problems and can't play the straights.
Curved egos are more comfortable for me and as already been mentioned easier to mic, plus you get more sound coming back to you, but its a personal choice.
 

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As a proud owner of a curvy (Unison), I (obviously) prefer the curved because it feels good and IMO feels like a saxophone.

However, be prepared to get guff from everyone you meet about it. The "standard" (read: expected) soprano is the straight variety and when you show up with a curved sop, eyes will roll and people will instantly discount your abilities.

*shrug* People have their preconceived notions. Hasn't bothered me enough to think about a straight horn. I love my curvy sax
 

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The New Century piece is really really nice, very well done!

Another advantage of playing a curved soprano is nobody from the crowd will ask for a Kenny G tune. :)
 

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The New Century piece is really really nice, very well done!

Another advantage of playing a curved soprano is nobody from the crowd will ask for a Kenny G tune. :)
If only that was the truth...they ask even when I play bari.

"Sorry, I don't have the hair to pull that one off."
 

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As a proud owner of a curvy (Unison), I (obviously) prefer the curved because it feels good and IMO feels like a saxophone.

However, be prepared to get guff from everyone you meet about it. The "standard" (read: expected) soprano is the straight variety and when you show up with a curved sop, eyes will roll and people will instantly discount your abilities.

*shrug* People have their preconceived notions. Hasn't bothered me enough to think about a straight horn. I love my curvy sax
Well, Sigurd and Carina Rascher preferred curved sopranos.

As for me, I have long arms and the curved feels really cramped to me. The straight really hurts my right thumb even though I hold it correctly (straight out, not pointing down like a clarinet). Vintage curved sopranos cost more than straight ones. Also most of the vintage curved have a fixed neck so one adjustment is not available. In current manufacturers Yanagisawa is the only non-Taiwan, non-China manufacturer of curved sopranos while every manufacturer makes a straight, so you have more choice if you prefer not to go to Taiwan or China.

I prefer the straight soprano, but not by that much. If I were to get seriously into soprano (weirdly I own 3 sopranos although I play soprano less than bass sax) I would certainly try out some curved ones. I might change my preference.

I'm not convinced about the separate neck. It seems like introducing a cylindrical portion is suboptimal in theory, although it certainly works for an awful lot of people. However, I question whether the curved neck would be so popular if people held the soprano out. Anyway, Yamaha used to make a one piece soprano with curved neck. I sat in with a guy who played one but never had a chance to blow on it.
 
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